Many companies have been advertising lecithin as a supplement that helps promote weight loss. While all that can be true, have you gotten the facts about lecithin down? What exactly is lecithin? And what can it do for us?
One of the first facts about lecithin that you ought to know is that it is a phospholipid, one of the many found in all living organisms, including humans. But more than that, lecithin is actually a complex mixture of phospholipids, glycolipids, triglycerides, sterols, and small quantities of fatty acids, carbohydrates, and sphingolipids. Its primary phospholipid components include phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylinositol (PI), and phosphatic acid (PA).
Now, since lecithin is present in the cells of all living organisms, you must think and believe that it is an essential nutrient. Certainly, that is what the adverts have been telling us. However, the facts about lecithin will tell you that the substance actually comes from the diet and is only synthesized in the body. Therefore, it is not an essential nutrient, although it may have some beneficial effects.
As a phospholipid, the facts about lecithin will indicate that the substance is a major component in cell membranes. Lipids make the cell membrane semi-permeable – that is, it allows some substances in while keeping other substances out. With its main component of choline, lecithin facilitates the movement of fats in and out of cells, as well as ions, wastes, and nutrients.
Besides providing protection around the cells, the facts about lecithin will also tell you that its function encompasses even the framework of the cell itself. Along with protein and carbohydrates, lecithin helps keep the cell structure strong and retain its shape.
Functions and Benefits
All the facts about lecithin will lead you only to one thing: that it’s a good thing the French scientist Maurice Gobley discovered it when he did in 1950. Otherwise, we would still be stuck with using the other emulsifiers in our foods which contain toxins that are harmful for human consumption.
One of the most popular facts about lecithin is that it exhibits emulsifying properties, which the food industry has found many uses for. Aside from keeping margarine and butter in its solid state and provide coating for chocolates and other foods, lecithin can also be used to enhance the nutritional and physical properties of your everyday recipes.
One or two tablespoons of lecithin will give an emulsifying surface of fat over your chili, soups, and gravies, giving them a uniform and appealing look. The fat won’t float and people who eat your food will praise you for such your wonderful recipe.
Besides food, lecithin also has other uses. Weight loss and diet enthusiasts consume granules and powders of lecithin directly from the container to help them with their weight loss regimen. Plus, countless studies revealed facts about lecithin that showed how the substance can positively affect persons with high cholesterol levels in the blood. Lecithin has been widely used to help people who are prone to heart attacks and strokes, and even degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s as lecithin is also a primary component in the brain’s myelin sheath.